Heal the wound, but leave the scar, a reminder of how merciful You are.”

The first time I heard these words sung, they rubbed me the wrong way.

Actually, it went deeper than mere annoyance. I didn’t like them at all.

They cracked open the broken places of my heart just a little bit wider.

After I lost my marriage of sixteen years, God had begun to do a healing work in me.  I longed for the time when that healing would be complete, when the crushing pain wouldn’t rip through my heart with each breath I took.

I wanted to be healed and whole. And I never wanted to remember the pain.

I didn’t want the scars. I didn’t want anything to remind me of the heartache I’d suffered.

But as time passed, God not only healed my heart, He changed my attitude. Little by little, I could look back at my heartache and see the good that came from the bad, beams of light in the blackest nights of my life.

I remembered the way my friends and family rallied around me, and I discovered lasting relationships are forged in the fires of life.

I remembered God’s miraculous provision, and how I came to see Him as not only my Savior, but my Almighty God Who can produce abundance out of thin air.

I remembered the nights of tears and how they made me press so close to the heart of Jesus that nothing could prevent me from feeling His arms of love holding me.

I remember how I clung to the words of Scripture, and the Bible became more precious than gold to me. It was my guide during times of confusion, my comfort in times of pain, and my hope as I claimed its promises.

Ever so slowly, I began to realize the scars didn’t need to be erased. They weren’t just reminders of the pain; they were reminders of how God brought me through it.

I discovered that remembering your scars is a Biblical principle. God’s people were slaves in the land of Egypt for many years. When He delivered them from slavery, He instituted the Passover, a celebration so they would always remember His hand of deliverance.

“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee.” (Deuteronomy 15:15)

“And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place.” (Exodus 13:3)

Although their bodies most certainly would have borne scars from their years of slavery, the worst scars would have been the heart-rending memories. God could have miraculously wiped the tragic memories of Egypt from their minds—memories of baby boys dying in the river, of endless toil in the hot sun, of being beaten and treated worse than animals.

But He didn’t. Instead, He asked them to remember.

For if they were to forget the pain, they would also forget the deliverance.

If you are enduring a time of heartache, don’t push yourself to accept the scars on your heart. It’s a process; it takes time.

But eventually, if you let God do a healing, comforting, making-all-things-new work in your heart, you’ll be able to look at your scars differently.

Yes, they will remind you of the pain, but most of all, they will remind you of the One Who brought you through it.


(Lyrics from “Heal the Wound” written by Clint Lagerberg and Nicole Nordeman)

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